Sunday, July 20, 2008

10 Steps to Control Stress

Life Balance: a feat we try to achieve while searching to be the best that we can we, while simultaneously raising our children to do the same. This is the equilibrium in our inner life force whereby our heartbeat matches the divine force that exists all around us. When this life balance peaks, our sense of peace, joy, love and wisdom acts as one with our very soul.

“Cheerfulness is the best promoter of health, and is as friendly to the mind as to the body.”Joseph Addison

Cheery, happy, joyful, blissful, peaceful, calm, full of mirth, tipping over with gladness, bursting with glee-a state of positive thinking we try to attain on a regular basis. We pray, we give thanks, and we meditate. We feel good. We feel God. We live in the state of grace, wonderment, and blessing....then we wake up smiling.

And sometimes we don’t smile. We wake up, having not slept all night due to stress, playing the problems over and over in our heads. Accidents happen, bones get broken, illness hits us or a loved one, jobs get lost, our parent’s age and our children misbehave. Sometimes our kids are clueless and we wonder where they got their brain cells, like the other day when Maverick hopped in a friend’s go-cart and drove it 5 miles down the side of a 6 lane highway in rush-hour traffic to pick up a friend. What on earth was he thinking? Of course, no brain functions were involved, only hormones were driving the bus that day.

And sometimes the hormones are so stupid school boards and the police have to get involved. Sometimes the disease takes more that a prescription to heal. Sometimes the job takes many months and countless applications to find. Sometimes the wound leaves a permanent scar we can’t heal, we can’t prevent and we can’t undo. And when it’s our kids, we feel the stress constantly. When we aren’t in control, and can’t just wave a wand to get a new job or do the day over, we suffer too.

I have developed some excellent coping techniques during my extended play time at home. I passed these on to a friend in need today, and I wanted to share with you too. Please send me yours and I will update.

10 Steps to Cope with Stress

1. TRASH TALK Just call a friend and vent, yell, holler, moan, diss the other people, scream about the unfairness, roar that you can’t cope, blast the government, trash your employer, and let it all roll out of you. Just let it all hang out. Don’t expect resolution, but you will find that talking through it will help you cope. Sometime, in tough situations, this is every day.

2. HELP, I’M MELTING Schedule a time each day to allow a melt down. That’s right, let it happen. Plan on it. When you are hyperventilating, pick a time later in the day, and tell yourself, this sucks, but I am not melting down until 2 p.m. when I take my walk.Only the will I scream and cry to myself, it will be just me, and that will be okay. I will flail on the floor if I want. I will simultaneously eat 5 pounds of chocolate and 3 glasses of wine at that time if I need to. However I want to melt, I will, but it will not be until then and it will only last 30 minutes. Plan a start and end time, and let it be.

3. SNAP OUT OF IT When turmoil strikes, one problem we have is seeing our way out of the situation. We get in a cycle of repeating bad thoughts in our head, and can’t get out of it. We tell ourselves again and again, “If Only…” Stop this. Wear a rubber band, and snap it on yourself when you realize you are doing this. Pull yourself back to the moment and break the habit of the endless moaning in your head.

4. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY Remind yourself to live in the moment and not view this as life ending. Whatever it is, you will get through it. Post a note on your computer at work, hang a sign on the fridge, clip one on your vent in the car that reads “This will NOT effect my eternity.” You are a child of God and your soul is much larger then whatever problem you are facing. In a year, you won’t even remember what caused you so much pain today. Believe it.

5. BE A LOVER, NOT A FIGHTER Loving yourself, your life and your day is the key to success and peace today. Fighting against the stress does not make it go away. Concentrate instead on thoughts of love. Make lists in your head, share then with friends to give you something else to concentrate on. Funny movies I love, best books I love, seasons I love, meals I love, people I love, best days I loved, etc. Keep the focus positive. Don't fight the stress, love it and let it go.

6. WALK OFF THE WAIT Get the feet moving. A sense of accomplishment in trekking for 30 minutes, in completing a course, in walking fast for 10 house; this walking will really pull you out of a funk. Watch your toes move, see the heel hit, notice your calf bulge as you dig in. Don’t allow yourself to think of anything but the walk. This is a powerful way to pull you back from a habit of worry.

7. COUNT YOUR SHEEP Sleeping gets very difficult when we are stressed. Talking to yourself
about it during the day really gets you in the mindset of being a good sleeper. Pretend this is the Olympics of sleeping tonight and you will be awarded the gold medal. See yourself handing God your worries in a worry basket, and crawling under the covers, and sleeping quietly for 8 hours. Feel the REM sleep take over easily and give you peace. See yourself smiling while you sleep.
Talk to yourself about it, see the worries being pushed aside, and make it happen. This really helps the sleep come quickly.

8. QUIET ON THE SET Set a time aside for quiet. You need it. It will give you much rest.

9.TAKE THE DOWN ESCALATOR Often when we are stressed, our moods with other friends, co-workers or family members get intense. We escalate the discussions into major fights (If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times to pick up your underwear after you shower!!) and before you know, the entire U.S. Army is needed to break up the discussion already. Stop saying “Always and Never” and take it down a notch. Walk away. Let it go. Let them win, and give yourself peace. Winning every fight does not make your stronger.

10. THRIVE NOT SURVIVE See yourself with a positive outcome, whatever it may be. Start with a gratitude journal, and move it up to major dreams. Allow yourself to bloom wherever you are planted, even now…see this manure as the fertilizer of your new life.

Give thanks each nite by remembering, “I am blessed, not stressed.”

Laugh each day. This is the best coping mechanism of all. It's makes us cheerful the whole day.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

Some good pointers. Thanks for the insight.